Dr. Michael Wesch makes the argument in this video, that we need to move our students from being knowledgeable to being knowledge ABLE.
“New media bring with them new possibilities for openness, transparency, engagement and participation, they also bring new possibilities for surveillance, manipulation, distraction and control”.
He makes the point that knowledge is everywhere. “There’s something in the air”. We all have at least one device that connects to it.
Media allow us to connect with each other and connect with each other in various ways. When media changes, our relationships change. He compares the bringing of TV where conversations are controlled by a few and is a one way conversation to now where everyone can contribute to the “knowledge”.
People today are meaning seekers, though being bombarded with media. This media can bet very damaging. Critical thinking is not only imperative, but Wesch makes the point that we now need to go beyond critical thinking.
Now we have a global conversation using various media. This media makes things happen.
We can use technology to change lives, to change the world.
Dewey states that “students learn what they do”. The message in our classrooms today is that authority and knowledge is found at the front of the room. The power comes from the front. It is removed from their lives.
Whilst technology makes it easy to physically to connect with others, in reality it is incredibly hard to do it in a meaningful way.
Knowledgeability is a practice not something we just talk about. We need to teach our students to practice how to use knowledge. Wesch suggests some ways in which we can do this:
1. embrace real problems (teacher as learner)
2. With students
3. Harnessing relevant tools when we can
4. Recognise we need to convince students that meaning is not something we find, but something we create together.
Wesch states, “We must create learning environments that inspire a way of being-in-the-world in which they can harness and leverage this new media environment as well as recognize and actively examine, question and even re-create the (increasingly digital) structures that shape our world”.
The most important questions our students need to ask, is not “what do we need to do to pass this assessment” but, “what do we need to know for the real test – the test of our lives”. How can we use technology to change the world.